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July 10, 2006 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Cherry’s Gemstones: Love in the Dreamscape Matrix Reality

The first time I saw the Gemstones play was last November, when they were opening for Die!Die!Die! Their line-up was different then and for the first ten minutes I was utterly mesmerised. Cherry (in schoolgirl ensemble) wrung a continual drone of Sturm und Drang from her amp and played fuck-around slide guitar with her beer. It was loud and it was awesome, there was yodelling. But after that they got stuck into a set of actual songs; I lost interest and went to get more whiskey. Not that there is anything wrong with songs now, that’s just my dirty little prejudices showing through. The band has ‘come a long way’ since then. From Wellington all around the country and back again to rock hard with the likes of Deja Voodoo (to open NZ Music Month, no less!)

Lead singer Cherry Gemstone has an idiosyncratic ‘muppet’ voice, confident and powerful yet at turns vulnerable, complimented

by the backing vocals of Heleyni Halva Gemstone and drummer Greta Garbo Gemstone they make for a formidable three-piece. Over the length of a full album, Cherry’s voice could tire many but this six-song offering provides just the balanced dosage of unique rock mayhem (with sadly little yodelling, you’ll have to check out a show), ‘Neon Glow’ being the immediate stand out, as it’s easy to get behind any song with a

chorus of “Religion fucks you up!” But the ‘punkdoo-wop’ harmonies of the singers seem to gel best on the soulful ‘Rainbow Dots’. Initially disappointed not to hear much in the way of noisy guitar freakouts, careful listening revealed subtly crafted inventive touches that defy their economy. The lyrics have an unpretentious goofiness that slide their personal hooks under the defences of even this stoic music reviewer but stumble slightly over portentous politics. Recommended if you like cute boys and/or exploding amps.

Cherry’s Gemstones will once again share the stage with Deja Voodoo (and Battle of the Bands’ Winners – Elsdon Gunn) for a Re-Orientation Gig on 27th of July.

[ssba]

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